On the eve of legalization, though, U.S. immigration lawyers say they have no idea whether ordinary Canadians will be barred for life from entering the U.S. for legal marijuana use in this country.
U.S. law certainly allows for it: non-Americans can be barred at the border for being “abusers” of drugs including marijuana, whether or not it was legal where it was consumed. (Any level of use, no matter how minor, is considered “abuse.”)
People banned at the U.S. border can apply for a “waiver” to let them cross. But the process is time-consuming, expensive — the fee recently rose to US930 and the process has to be started from scratch every few years for the rest of the person’s life.
“Possession and/or admission to the use of marijuana by an alien may result in the refusal of admission,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson Stephanie Malin wrote in an email.